Never Stop Making the World a Better Place


To have peace we also have to have equality for all peoples, nations, religions and cultures. We do need to address the racism which remains here in America and all over the world.  Women’s and girls’ rights are being denied many places across the world. They are an invisible minority. Women are being beaten, terrorized, even executed. Many females are treated with contempt and violence.

 

We find that the violence against women is perpetuated by fellow citizens. There are laws to protect women but they are not always enforced. Often authorities look the other way. It is a woman after all.

 

Women are often denied opportunities for education and work. Women wanting a better life can’t protect themselves from violence and harm. They also can’t protect their children.

 

Leadership, by definition, means being out in front of your people when it is called for. It means standing up for your dignity and the dignity of others. It also means encouraging others to do the same.

 

Human rights mean that all people are treated like human beings. It means being able to stand up as a woman, a radical, religious, tribal or ethnic minority and being treated the same way as everyone else. Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.

 

We need to recognize the gains we have made as women as well as the gaps where women and girls can fall through. We then need to focus on the gaps and filling them logically. Social media has improved things somewhat. But we have 200,000 million fewer women with access to the internet than men who are online in the developing world.

 

“I have loved and been loved; all the rest is background music.”   —Hilary Clinton

 

To everyone who has worked as an advocate or feminist, you can’t rest on your laurels. Never quit. Never stop working to make the world a better place for all of us to live and thrive. We have unfinished business and we must go forward until all human beings enjoy human rights and full equality.

 

Since the time of our founding fathers, we have had to work on equality and human rights for all. The founding fathers began our country as a great experiment. They had a dream and they created America from that dream. There were many people who predicted our demise as a nation. George Washington, the father of our country was criticized as being a mediocre surveyor with a bad set of wooden teeth.

 

People who have bet against America have found themselves to be surprised and dumbfounded. The one issue which caused much debate and angry words was, as it is now, equality between the races. The founding fathers finally agreed to disagree. They crafted America and left future generations to come to terms with the question of equality. This job fell upon the shoulders of Abraham Lincoln. He was assassinated and therefore his plans were not implemented. After the Civil War, there was no slavery but there also was not any equality except for a very few.

 

These days women are not equal. Black citizens and white citizens are not equal. Middle Eastern people are not equal since 9-11. Poverty has increased here in America as well as around the world. The future brings opportunities to learn our lessons and heed the call of history. We need to make  human rights a priority. America needs to stand together firmly and united in pursuit of a more just, free and peaceful world.

 

“It ‘s supposed to be hard…The hard is what makes it great.”   —Excerpted from A League of Their Own.

 

We need leaders who will lead in a way that will unite us all and renew the American Dream.

 

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The Harmony & Peace Award


HarmonyPeace

I created this new award to celebrate all those who promote Harmony & Peace, and who add Love & Beauty to the world through their Blogs and through their lives.  Their Positivity makes the world a better place for all of us.

Rules:

As most of you know by now, I am not big on rules, but here they are:

  1. Give this award to seven bloggers who have added Harmony & Peace, Love & Beauty and Positivity to the world you live in.
  2. Let them know that you nominated them.
  3. Acknowledge the blogger from whom you received this award
  4. Display your award on your blog, because  you have earned it!
  5. Continue to live in Harmony & Peace

The first nominees for this award:

  1. Dr. Rex
  2. Hunt4Truth
  3. Victo Dolore
  4. Al
  5. Xena
  6. Maverick
  7. Rajagopal

We Are Going Into the Future – With Positive Energy


I have been listening to people, what they write and what they say. I have looked around me at the people in my life and the acquaintances. When people talk, there is a flow of negativity. If one person does not make themselves clear, the other assumes the worst.

Now, it occurs to me that these threads of negative thought and speech are influencing more and more of the energy of our communities. People hurt others’ feelings, there is a lack of respect of others, of the elderly. Everyone seems to be on a hair-trigger. This trigger seems ready to go off and escalation is the result. My confusion comes from the fact that many of the angriest people have everything they could want. Yet it isn’t enough. Then I began thinking about how if friends and neighbors can’t have conversations without hurt feelings, there is something going on.

Times are changing. There is a lot of negativity in our cities, our country and all the countries of the world.  There is an outcry across the world by the people who have been living under dictators, who live amidst bombs and fear. We human beings are committing terrible crimes against each other. Racism, sexism, greed and power are bringing out the worst in humanity.  Not that we historically have had any difficulty torturing or causing pain to our fellow sentient beings.

Genocide is happening yet again. We have made it a purpose  in life to try to wipe out races of people who are different. Their skin color, religion, education, natural abilities all have worked together to sound the battle cry to kill…the “others”. Some countries are keeping women and girls from receiving an education. This leaves them in perpetual poverty and controlled by the males in their families. They are owned by fathers, brothers, and husbands. They never even have a chance to figure out who they are. They never get to experience themselves as a child of the Universe. They are stuck having to always do what they are told. They don’t know how to protect their daughters because no one protected them.

Girls are being married off at as young as 10 years old. Their bodies are not even completely formed yet. In my mind, only a pedophile could or would do something like this. IN some cultures, if a man wants a woman and she doesn’t want him, he has the right to throw acid in her face. This is done to save his family shame. Also no one will ever want her. I have seen such horrible pictures of young beautiful women who are scarred so much their families are shocked. Little girls disappear. Mothers cry and pray, but the girls are gone and have been sold into sexual slavery. Their life is essentially over. Very few governments will search for them, so they are used until they commit suicide or are thrown away like garbage. In many countries, when girls reach puberty and their menses begin, the mother takes her to the midwife for genital mutilation. This practice is what will make them marriageable. It is done to decrease sexual pleasure and to ensure virginity. Some men have their wives sewn closed while they are away on business so their labia is sewn together to prevent sexual intercourse. A small opening is left so they can pee.

All of this adds to the negativity which is swirling around our world.  Every time a girl or woman is saved and educated, we decrease the negative energy. It takes getting involved and understanding that every woman who is injured, is a sister.

Here in America, Domestic Violence is not stopping but increasing according to the FBI statistics. A woman who is married is not owned. She is not required to obey. She is not the reason he hits her. We  started building Domestic  Violence shelters and giving hope to abused women and their children in the 1970’s. We taught them to do the Activities of Daily Living so they could escape and survive in the world. Legal advice and assistance was provided. We saved lives. In those days, we were grass-roots organizations. Hard work, prayers and tenacity is what we lived on while we counseled, loved, fed and sheltered millions of women and their children. We just saw a need and began to do something to change lives.

This is exactly what we need to do to go forward into the future. We need to form grass-roots groups of dedicated men and women to stop the violence and negativity, of all kinds. Righting wrongs is an important aspect of our journey here on our World. Stopping negative energy and gut reactions is necessary to take us forward into the future. Caring is good, it is important. Volunteering a few hours a month would do much to create  positive energy. People need to just think and act positively. Get out and give the Universe a few of the hours of your life and we will feel the energy brighten and we will feel joy within us. This must be a present and the future and we all can participate.

Bloggers 4 Peace

Bob Marley said it so well. One World, One God, One life. Do what you can do to add positive energy to our world.

The Non-Violent Way


I have talked many times about ending violence, and breaking the cycle of violence in many situations.

 

Today, I wanted to share another TED Talk, this one from Peace Activist Scilla  Elsworthy, so you can hear another voice explain the path of non-violence when fighting back.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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My Message in a Bottle


To whomever finds my message:

I have filled this bottle with Love, Peace, Patience, Compassion, Empathy, Gratitude, Beauty, Forgiveness and Kindness.

I believe that when we sow the seed of these ideas with words and plant them in the soil of life and add water and sunlight, we can grow Peace.  Peace is the trunk of the Tree of Life.

If, every day, every person performed one Peaceful act, shared beauty with one other person, shared forgiveness with one who needs it, then we would have the beginnings of the Peace we need.

Everyday that you touch someone else with kindness, with compassion and peace, you make an imprint on their heart and on their soul that will gradual help them find their way to a life lived in peaceful harmony with everyone in the world.

This could erase racism, sexism, ageism, all forms of bigotry and the violence that comes from it.

There are people who are haters, and bullies.  These people need our kindness and empathy perhaps more than other people, because bullying comes from insecurity and troubled minds and the inability to know how to be kind.

Statistically, 97% of American families are dysfunctional to some degree.  But what I know and have experienced is that with self-compassion, self-understanding, self-love, everyone can learn to grow beyond what traumatized or hurt them, and continue on their way to a life filled with kindness and peace.

You may know someone who has had a very difficult life, and you can make a difference in their life by living your peace, your empathy, your forgiveness, your gratitude, and they can learn from your example and from living within the light of your being.

After a while, someone who carries darkness and hatred and negativity and violence within themselves can be changed by the daily dose of gratitude, love, acceptance, peace, empathy, and kindness that touches their heart and soul even if they don’t want it to.  These gifts are much stronger than the negativity within any soul.

Please open my bottle and spread the contents around.  You won’t be sorry.

May peace fill all of your lives.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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Bottle floating on the Ocean. Charcoal drawing by Barbara Mattio Copyright 2009

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Artists4Peace

To Heal the Whole


Let us be united,

Let us speak in harmony;

Let our minds apprehend alike.

Common be our prayer;

Common be the end of our assembly;

Common be our resolution;

Common be our deliberations.

Alike be our feelings;

Unified be our hearts,

Common be our intentions;

Perfect be our unity.   —From the Rig Veda, Hindu scripture

 

 

This is not thinking about humans being carbon copies of each other but that we all unify around love, kindness, compassion, gratitude and forgiveness. No matter what country you live in or what religion or spiritual path you follow, no matter your skin color, we are all one. Our planet is not divided. It is whole and beautiful, though damaged due to our not being good stewards. It is us who have divided, sectioned off, and formed boundaries out of human blood. For this is a big part of what war accomplishes.

 

We are in a time of great imbalance on our planet, and again we have no other planet. Mother Earth is reflecting the imbalance within ourselves. We need to heal humankind. There is no one who does not have their own inner traumas and psychological problems. We are not separate from this wonderful planet. We are totally  part of the living Earth, and we must recognize that isolated health is an illusion. Healing ourselves and working  to resolve the contradictions in the human-Earth ecology is the same work. And it is work, hope and love that will bring us to success.

 

All healing involves making whole again. For many people who have lived with violence or trauma, they feel it is just them and the rest of the world is whole and mentally healthy. I have heard this many hundreds of times from patients. This leads them to feel marginalized and not part of the mainstream. In truth, we all need healing of one sort or another. We all need each other.

 

All healing involves making ourselves and our world whole again. We need to resolve the contradictions that exist between self and other, body and spirit, mind and nature.

 

We need to relearn that we belong to the whole. We need to know that we are not encapsulated, self-enclosed entities, but we are fields of energy integrated with the environment.

 

Everything we do transforms and reshapes the world. Because our actions can destroy, they can also heal. There is no distinction between our physical lives and the work of our spirits.

 

 

WeCon

  Like it or not, we are all one beautiful, intelligent species

Mother Earth

Mother Earth 

It is One Thing to Believe in Sacrifices


It is one thing to believe in sacrifices, it is quite another to live with them. In the sixties, we didn’t get that and when guys came home from the Vietnam War, we ignored them or yelled at them. We wanted to make them feel ashamed for fighting what we perceived as an illegal war. It  was illegal, but that wasn’t the fault of the soldiers or us, the government will forever carry the responsibility. It took me and many others a long time to get it.

 

My ah-ha moment was on a date. He was a Vietnam veteran. He was the only military person I ever dated. We were watching China Beach. I always watched China Beach. He asked me if I would let him tell me about his experience in Vietnam. No, was what I wanted to say, But, something made me say Ok. Not enthusiastic, but I committed myself and I sat and listened. I will not repeat his experiences out of respect for him. Three hours, many tears and a bit of shock later I wished I didn’t know. He had never told his story before but it was his truth. It was not a pretty story, but it was reality and I suddenly realized that not supporting the veterans accomplished nothing. The government was the villain and we had missed the point.

 

I have been to the Vietnam War Memorial erected in Washington, D.C. I ran my finger tips over the thousands of names etched into the stone. There were memorials and small tokens everywhere. A mom was holding a little boy who was touching a name and she was talking, I assume, about that soldier.

 

The Iraqi war was illegal. He lied to America and took advantage of the fear that spread through America after we were attacked on 9-11. There were no weapons of mass destruction and we sent so many of our youth to fight in Iraq. One young man was close to me and he was injured. The Army couldn’t actually find him for awhile. He was in Germany and he was having his hand treated.

 

Now, I look around at the severity of injuries that our young men and women have suffered and I am sickened. Why do we always resort to violence and war? We don’t need to. We need to show compassion, acceptance, gratitude, love, kindness. War never fixes anything. It just increases the level of violence. This violence is causing severe head injuries, the loss of arms and / or legs. The loss of dreams and abilities. Severe mental issues such as PTSD and many other mental problems.

 

Wounded Warrior Project and the other groups working to assist veterans and their families are doing important work. So today is Veteran’s Day and I want to say thank you to all vets, male and female. Though I continue to wish that there would be an end to war, thank you for what you have given to America and those of us who live here. Your bravery is an amazing thing to see.

 

Someday, I hope we will no longer need these terrible sacrifices on the part of our young people, our future. One day there will not be wars. Diplomacy will reign and calm, logical and rational thinking will replace greed and power hungry people.

 

So, veterans, Thank you for your sacrifices. I am sorry you had to sacrifice all that you did.

 

 

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Flag unfurled by vets

Flag unfurled by Americans

 

Veteran's Day run held in various places around the country.

Veteran’s Day run held in various places around the country.

 

You have our support

You have our support